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The Trust by Ronald Balson


The Trust by Ronald Balson

An urgent phone call for Liam Taggert from his cousin Annie in Ireland begins the novel, the latest from the Chicago attorney who authored Once We Were Brothers, Saving Sophie, and Karolina’s Twins.

Annie tells Liam his Uncle Fergus has died. The funeral is in Ireland in three days, and Annie says Liam must be there, even though he’s been estranged from his Irish family for 16 years, after they discovered that he was a CIA spy.  Stranger still is that when the will is read in Ireland, Liam is named the executor and trustee, chosen over Fergus’s children and longtime love Deirdre. Furthermore, the trust specifies that if there is any suspicion about Fergus’s cause of death (a fatal gunshot to the head does sound suspicious), none of Fergus’s assets (and they are considerable) can be distributed to any of the heirs until the cause of death is resolved and the people responsible for it have been identified and brought to justice.  The Taggart family does have its political enemies, though who would kill Uncle Fergus? And why would Uncle Fergus write such instructions into his will – did he know he was at risk for murder?

Understandably, the heirs are anxious to get their hands on their share of Fergus’s money, and they resent that Liam is in charge.  Liam, a new father, is not too happy being in charge, and would really rather be home in Chicago. Liam’s wife Catherine, also an attorney and usually his co-investigator, is off stage in this book, at home with a new baby and unavailable to race around Ireland with him.  The author brings in Catherine’s expertise via phone calls between husband and wife.

This is a good, fast-paced read in which suspense and plot twists abound. Layers of bad guys are suspected, threatening phone calls are received, and family members die one by one.

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